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Canes trade Ponikarovsky for draft pick

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The trade deadline is still a month away, but the Carolina Hurricanes picked up a draft pick and cleared one of their expiring contracts off the books Friday night.

After a 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals, the Canes traded forward Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for a fourth-round draft pick in 2012 and minor-league defenseman Joe Sova.

Sova, 23, has split time between the AHL and ECHL this season. The Devils signed the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Illinois native as a free agent in 2011 after three years at Alaska-Fairbanks. The Hurricanes have assigned him to Charlotte (AHL).

The Canes signed Ponikarovsky to a one-year, $1.5 million contract over the summer. He had seven goals and eight assists in 49 games for the Hurricanes. He had one shot in 10 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time against the Capitals on Friday. The Hurricanes save $632,432, the remaining value on his contract.

"We're real happy with the job 'Poni' did for us," general manager Jim Rutherford said in an interview Friday night. "He worked hard for us every night and was a very useful player.

"He was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and there are other players in our system who are developing and wanted to get them in. Now, was the time to move him. We were able to get a draft pick and a prospect defenseman."

The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 27. The Hurricanes have four other impending unrestricted free agents they could move before then: Tuomo Ruutu, Tim Gleason, Jaroslav Spacek and Bryan Allen. (Allen has a no-trade clause.)


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I won't heap criticism on LaRose

I won't heap criticism on LaRose, but I will say that at $1.5M (increasing by $400K next season) the Canes deserve more than a -17, 32 PIM, and a scoring percentage of less than 9% of his shots. 

give me a break

I know sittler and abramsdoug are the resident know it alls on here, and love giving their opinions. All I will say about most any injury in this sport is, the press releases are vague to protect the player in a game. I had read that Larose banged his head in practice but there was no concussion, which was a good thing. You two are always on Larose like bees around honey. Bottom line is, Larose is back, he works hard, has scored some winning goals and big goals during this season and seasons past. Get off his case or go to the weight room with him and see if either of you can keep up with him. He has a workout routine he learned from Rod. You both spend enough time bragging about who you know, who you skate with etc...geez

give me a break

Sorry mate to disagree with you on this one.  Yes, Chad hustles.  Yes, he's a presence in the room.  No one is debating that.  He has scored some big goals this year and is one of the few players we have who goes to the "dirty areas" on the ice.  He also takes bad and stupid penalties at the most inopportune times during games.  His skill set IS of a 4th line player, with occasional time on the 3rd line.  He plays on the other lines because this team simply has no other choice.  There's a paucity of scorers, certifiable scores even to the most rational and objective fan. sittler27 played the game and played in the NHL.  I think that does carry a lot of weight on this blog.  Do I always agree with him or A.D., good grief, no.  I read what they have to say and have from time to time written a rebuttal, but respectfully.  We all want the 'Canes to succeed, but in order to do that, there needs to be a deper, better, product on the ice.  Serious decisions need to be made by ownership and Jim now, and especially in the off season.  Who knows what will happen.  We all know that Jim never tips his hand and maybe something from left field will occur by the trading deadline.


And for all of us, blogging is for fun.  There has been some lively back and forth and those differences of opinion make it  fun. But when we start to get personal and make disparaging character comments then it stops being enjoyable. I have been guilty of that as well at times.


When its all about opinion its fine to have conflicitng views

Your opinion on LaRose is different than mine. All good. Show me where I have ever questioned his work ethic, commitment, intensity.  I like all of that.  But he doesn't have a monopoly on those qualities. As examples, Maltby and Draper with the Wings made careers out of those and are arguably both more skilled. Where did they play?...4th line. In my opinion he is the epitome of a 4th liner on most teams. Not his fault he is being overslotted. Never said it was. 

But when there are hard facts available would you not want to know them.  Team announces its shoulder. Muller says its shoulder. LaRose says its shoulder. But I guess in your and "oldpolitics" world it is better that we just post away and ignore facts.  What you call bragging others have appreciated as insider information. But have it your way. Ignorance is bliss. From here on just ignore my posts. I'll definitely ignore yours. 

Please don't bring me into

Please don't bring me into your posts when you argue with others........I have not treated you in this manner and never will, directly or indirectly.

I am assuming this inclusion is not meant to utterly discredit anything I post but if it is you are way off base with your reasons, more so than I have ever seen from you...............


he is like a number of players on this team: he hustles and has limited one on one skills. He is a garbage goal guy with a decent shot on the fly. He is not the reason we are near last in the conference. He just returned from a concussion, so 8:45 of ice time is not punishment time. He missed a breakaway tonight, but so have many players this year along with open nets. He has worked hard since he has been here. Bring in some skilled two way players and he can be moved, but unlike other people on here, I do not get too upset about a utility player like larose. I was tired of maurice and just think when you have an extroverted coach like Muller versus an introvert like maurice, players respond in part because muller communicates better as far as I am concerned. If they ever move larose, the same people will find another player to take out a losing season on.

I agreee, for the most part.

I agreee, for the most part.  LaRose is certainly a scapegoat around here.  Yes, he's paid too much, but he isn't the primary reason they lose.  A game like last night is a good example.  They had chances, but can't finish.  The team lacks scoring talent.  

Here's a fun exercise.  Take the Hurricanes forwards this season and slot them where you think they would have played on the '06 team.  Scary, huh?  

One other note...Paul Maurice is not an introvert.  He may be scarred and weary of the media and public, but not an introvert.  

Ponikarovsky trade

I am on the fence with this one.  Poni played hard but admittingly, he was not a big physical player that he could be. He is a big, strong forward that went into the dirty areas and it was hard to move him but he his speed was slow for Mullers up-tempo play.  I do not know what this defense will bring to the ranks but bringing in another defenseman makes me wonder who is going away.  Joslin has not played much, rumors are Gleason is a prime candidate for trade material, but Sova is probably going to the Checkers for awhile.

Anyway, I personally hate to see Poni go as I really like his on-ice grit, when applied, and he is just an all round nice guy.  But, this is a business so I wish him well with the Devils.


Ponikarovsky and Future Trades

Ponikarovsky seems to be the start of the trading season.  It's a shame for the players to some real extent their careers are so influenced by factors beyond their control such as the owner's budget for salary, the GM's decision to sign Kaberle, and Paul Maurice's reticence to use younger, skilled players.  If the season were starting today under Muller, without Kaberle, the Hurricanes would be a team playing as well as any team in the Eastern Conference.

   Ponikarovsky did a fine job; but in the end, his lack of explosive speed made him expendable under Muller's uptempo approach.  More trades will surely come as Jim Rutherford shapes the team for next season and season's beyond.  I do wonder whether the fact the Hurricanes are now playing as well as they have played in some time will lessen the number of trades.  I think the fact Brett Carson was not reclaimed off of waivers is an indication that the Hurricanes organization is comfortable that even if Gleason and Spacek are traded, Allen will be retained. 

   The top three Hurricanes forward lines are playing inspired hockey, as is the fourth line.  So where does LaRose fit in this picture?  With Nodl/Sutter/Dwyer playing outstanding defensive hockey, it makes little sense to break up that line under a coach who rewards success with time on the ice.  If Ponikarovsky's $1.5 million cap hit is too high for the fourth line and if other younger players deserved their turn, where does that leave LaRose with his $1.7 million cap hit?

   Ruutu is playing excellent hockey and his play with Staal and Tlusty is helping Staal be a dominant player.  Will Jim Rutherford stick with Ruutu or will be trade Ruutu because Ruutu is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season?  Here's hoping the combined wisdom in the Hurricanes organization realizes Ruutu is an essential part of the Hurricanes team moving forward.

If I remember correctly you

If I remember correctly you advocated keeping MO for this season and not fire him. Easy to throw him under the bus now. Looking back is not too difficult but right now it means little.

Until Nodl and/or Dwyer produce the offense, hits and heart and soul efforts that LaRose has already proven this season it is way too early to sink LaRose. You have brought this up a bunch. It ceases to be entertainment for the masses.

Ruutu will be traded, the potential return it too great to ignore. Time to move forward.

Admit It —The Bloom Is Off LaRose

LaRose has neither the skill set nor the speed to keep up with Muller's uptempo style of play. He is indecisive in the neutral zone and opts for soft dump-ins over carrying the puck into the zone. At -17, he is a defensive liability. At $1.7 million, he is a highly paid forechecking forward who can't finish. Dwyer does LaRose better than LaRose. Without LaRose in the lineup and Samson/Dalpe/Nodl stepping up, we are a faster, tape-to-tape team that carries the puck into the zone with speed, establishes the cycle, opens up the back line, frees the D for shots from the point, sets up screens, creates chances and deflections — and, most important, is starting to convert. Sure, LaRose's fiesty style of play and room presence will be missed, but no one's going to miss the defensive lapses, the stone hands and the bad decisions.

Transformation of Team is Underway

For the reasons you describe, LaRose is a fourth line wing. Given the Hurricanes' low budget, $1.5 million this season and $1.9 million next season is too high for the fourth line forwards.


I don't disagree about LaRose's value as compared to his contract, but if you and I can figure that out what makes you think GMs for other teams can't as well?  He's not going anywhere.

Sorry but I am not buying

Sorry but I am not buying what you are selling.

5th in scoring

1st in hits

2nd in shots on goal (one of Muller's top issues)

And that is from a guy who has been asked to play beyond his skills most of this season and he has delivered with a personal career pace. Show me the other ones on this team playing beyond their skills on a career pace. LaRose is not part of the bigger issues on this team. Concentrate on those issues that are. I think he continues to be blooming.....

Now, saying all that, if the team decides he needs to be part of this team going forward, so be it, if not, so be it.

5th in scoring on a team

5th in scoring on a team that has almost no scoring talent. This is more a testament to the team's lack of talent than LaRose's scoring prowess.

1st in hits because the #1 player was just traded. Also, this stat is vague and recorded differently from arena to arena. Hits are also a subjective category. I am willing to bet Ruutu has had more actually effective hits that LaRose has had.

2nd in shots on goal...and a medicore 9% shooting percentage.

Also, you seem to have forgotten some stats.

-17, 2nd worse on the team...and he is supposed to be a defensively responsible player.

32 PIM, many of which occurred at terrible times. A veteran player should not be taking this many dumb penalties. 1.3 penalties taken per 60 minutes...worst on the team in this regard by a fair margin.

AD may be a bit too harsh on LaRose...he is an ideal 4th line player. But still, I don't understand the love affair many fans have with him. Just because he is a great character guy (and he definitely is, we need players like him in the locker room) and because he is a fan favorite doesn't mean he shouldn't be getting limited even strength minutes on the fourth line. We should be fielding the best team possible, and that means LaRose should be on the fourth line.

Why do fans love LaRose? It

Why do fans love LaRose?

It is really simple......we sports fans absolutely love underdog stories played out in front of us. LaRose, the underdog, never drafted, has captured the attention of fans time and time again over these many years for exceeding what we have said is his underdog status. Not one time but many times right in front of our eyes.

It has always been a great story and really continues to unfold. Enjoy it while it lasts, because all stories end. Turning this story into a something semi-evil, semi-demonic in the eyes of some fans, is really sad.


I did advocate keeping Maurice. I think he did quite a number of things well. If you call what I wrote was that Maurice mismanaged his forward lines and failed to use the young forwards.  As a result of Maurice's mismanagement of forward lines and his refusal to play the more talented young forwards the Hurricanes played like a much less talented team than they were. 

  What we've seen is that Muller has instituted a merit based ice time system.  He has also added an uptempo approach.  Muller also is playing the young forwards on lines where they can succeed.  The result is obvious.  I thought it was quite a shame for Maurice that he was so stubborn that he would ultimately cost the Hurricanes a season and would get himself fired.  That result is exactly what happened.

   In my view, all Maurice had to do to remain as the Hurricanes coach was to end the regime of being one of Mo's Boyz and let merit dictate time on ice.  In any event, LaRose should be traded and probably will be.  If there is no room for Ponikarovsky, and there clearly wasn't, there is even less room for LaRose.  Nodl/Sutter/Dwyer have become an extremely effective two way line.  They force the other team's best forward lines to play defensive in the opposing team's offensive zone.  I think it is time for fans who love and adore LaRose to move on.  It's about fielding the best team from the players available; and being a superb teammate among a group of superb teammates is not a reason to keep any player on the roster.

Didn't think you would

Didn't think you would answer. Because.......if Muller gives LaRose ice time beyond what you think is appropriate (4th line or less) then, in effect, Muller disagrees with you assessment of LaRose. Why don't we let Muller decide Chad's value. That sounds like a good thing to do, don't you think?

LaRose Time on Ice

Muller had LaRose on the fourth line.  LaRose had 8:35 minutes time on the ice.  Muller rolled four lines.  LaRose had 1:45 on the penalty kill.  He also had one shift  on the power play for 1:10 p.m. Other than that one shift on the power play,  Muller used LaRose as I think he should be used. 

You are so

You are so you are yet again bashing a guy who is in his FIRST game back from a head low can you get??????? I am not sure I really want to know that about you and your reverse man-crush on LaRose.

Fact Checker

Need to get your facts right. It was a shoulder injury.

LaRose on the Fourth Line; Shoulder Injury

  It is odd to be accused of bashing LaRose by another poster here at Canes Now because I included the time on ice and the lines that Muller gave LaRose.  Muller, in my view, was correct in not moving out any other top nine forwards to insert LaRose and instead Muller played LaRose on the fourth line.  I would have played LaRose exactly the way Muller did, other than perhaps one shift on a power play.  I assume the poster is not saying Muller is a LaRose basher; anymore than one could say Brent and Stewart were being punished or bashed by Muller.

   As to whether LaRose is still feeling the effects of his shoulder injury, it is difficult to imagine any reason to play LaRose if he is indeed injured.  The question is not whether LaRose is fine on the fourth line, the question is whether it makes good business sense to play LaRose the remainder of his $1.5 million and $1.9 million next season to play on the fourth line and kill penalties. 

   Fourth line wings in general don't win games for teams, but they can easily lose games for teams. LaRose is not the game changer the Hurricanes need.  Typically, Jim Rutherford has been recalcitrant to pay his fourth line forwards $1.9 million. 

Then you need to point your

Then you need to point your gun here.........

You missed many subsequent updates

You must have missed the many updates as well as Chad's interview's.

“Just [worked on] shooting the puck and making sure my shoulder was all good,” he said. “And I wanted to make sure I felt good today after getting a good workout yesterday.”

"LaRose suffered his injury on Jan. 9 in practice when he got tangled up with a teammate and went shoulder-first into the post. It was a physical practice, and one of the most grueling the Canes had this season."

"Canes coach Kirk Muller said today that LaRose, who has an upper-body injury when he banged into the net, did not suffer a concussion and that he hoped to get the winger back soon."

If you want more try Google.

I did miss these several

I did miss these several updates. And you point is?????? that I should have done something else rather than rely on a site you have referred others to? I am not sure what are you suggesting of my effort and how it relates to my original post made to another poster?

Its a Blog

If you want one on one dialogue, then suggest you email.  When you blog its open season on all you say.  And its all in fun. Don't take it so seriously.  

You pointed out the error, I

You pointed out the error, I responded by showing you my source which is a legitimate source. I also distinctly remember but cannot prove the first reports did say he hit his head on the cage. I apologies for not double and triple confirming my posts as all great professional journalist do......but hey.....I am just a poster and not an insider. If you have not contact SBNation with the same vigor, you probable should so others like me don't blunder so badly.

Fun is relative you know.......words on screens are not inflections and cannot be diagnosed with any certainly. Fun I love........and from my screen I see that light of fun at the end of the tunnel............well ,you perhaps know the rest of the story.

Got it

I get your point and appreciate the way in which you make it. 

Your welcome. Wordsmithing

Your welcome. Wordsmithing is an art and I throw away a lot of my paintings............

Muller and Time on Ice

Muller has shown he has not only a great hockey mind, but he also has a great feel for the game.  If Muller decides over a body of games that LaRose is his man then so be it.  I would still disagree with the wisdom of that particular decision if that is in fact the decision Muller rmakes.  As long as the team wins with whomever he puts out on the ice, then who can complain.  He can put Stormy on the first line if the Hurricanes win as far as I am concerned.

You would disagree with the

You would disagree with the wisdom of that particular decision (by Muller to give LaRose more ice time if he earned it). By the way, your phrase is sort of oximoronic (sp?), if the decision is wisdom then why would you disagree? Or Muller's great hockey mind is flawed? Or since on the one hand you laude Muller but on the other hand you seem to have more "hockey wisdom" than Muller?

Yea, I thought you would not yet be willing to castrate Muller like you have been and continue to castrate LaRose.

I for one am willing to let LaRose once again earn his ice time. I think the boy will yet do it again, like he has time and time again.

Muller Puts LaRose on the 4th Line Vs. Islanders

According to the information at game time,  Muller has a fourth line of LaRose/Brent/Stewart.  I agree with that decision. 

Yep....thought you did want

Yep....thought you did want to keep MO, someone who had so much mismanagement issues, as you said.

Merit based ice time......interesting notion there. So you believe that if Muller gives ice time to players it is deserved? Or I am misunderstanding you.....

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.